Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 3042, making the City of South Padre Island eligible to collect an additional one percent revenue from the state hotel occupancy tax, for a total two percent. The two percent in funding goes toward the cleaning, maintenance of and erosion control of the City’s beaches, which are set to increase by 25% as the City extends its city limits. The City currently spends more than $1 million a year in maintenance and nourishment projects to preserve the beaches, which are a state asset.
City of South Padre Island Mayor Robert N. Pinkerton, Jr. said the passing of this bill, which he attributes to a great team effort, is an incredible accomplishment in this economic environment.
“I want to thank the Governor, Lt. Governor, and of course those that carried the bill through the legislative body, Senator Lucio, Representative Rene Oliveira, and Representative Lucio lll,” said Pinkerton. “Clint Smith with HillCo, our political consultant did an incredible job of keeping it on track for approval.”
The funding brings added revenue to the City, but the benefits extend outside South Padre Island.
“The rebate of the state hotel/motel tax will be used to maintain Texas beaches of which we are the stewards in deep South Texas,” said Pinkerton “As we move northward up the coast expanding our city limits, we will have the funds to keep our beaches well nourished, clean, and usable for the people of Texas that visit here, as well as those from all over the country and Mexico.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Jo Ann Evans adds that the Island’s primary industry is tourism, making beach maintenance especially important.
“The beach is the basis for our tourism economy, but costs to maintain the beach continue to escalate,” said Evans. “This additional state funding will assist us in preserving this valuable state asset. We firmly believe that investing in beach maintenance and preservation pays dividends in terms of the jobs and revenue that our tourism-based economy generates.”
HB 3042 was authored by State Representative Rene Oliveira and State Representative Eddie Lucio, III. State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. sponsored the bill, which was signed by Governor Rick Perry on June 14, 2013.
This information was provided by “Eye on SPI” which is a great newsletter from the city. Check it out at http://www.myspi.org/eGov/apps/document/center.egov?view=item;id=2011